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check two
02-17-2011, 04:12 PM
-It appears that relentless harassment from activists and mounting opposition have combined to bring Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean to an early halt.

But for how long?

Japan's Fisheries Agency has declared that the annual whaling mission in Antarctic waters has been suspended, several weeks before it typically concludes. The agency cited "violent" disruptions credited to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which is in its seventh season of campaigning against the whalers.

However, it is not clear how long the suspension will last.

The factory processing ship, Nisshin Maru, is steaming from the whaling grounds toward Drake's Passage near the tip of South America. It's being tailed by the Sea Shepherd vessel, Bob Barker.

Sea Shepherd Capt. Paul Watson, who is aboard the Bob Barker, issued a statement Wednesday that began: "I think it is premature to see this as a victory for the whales yet. There has been no mention of how long this suspension will be. It could be permanent, for this season only, or it could be for a matter of weeks or even days.

"What we do know is that the whalers will not be killing any whales for the next few weeks."

The whaling fleet also consists of three harpoon vessels. One has left the hunting grounds because of mechanical issues. The others are useless without the ability to offload whales onto a factory ship.

If this season's hunt is over, Japan has again fallen significantly short of its annual quota of 935 minke whales and 50 fin whales.

Jubilation has spread among the environmental community. The Age, an Australian newspaper, quoted Patrick Ramage, director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, as saying: "Under pressure from all fronts, the Japanese whaling fleet is apparently withdrawing early this season from the internationally recognized sanctuary around Antarctica.

"We hope this is a first sign of Japanese government decision makers recognizing there is no future for whaling in the 21st century and that responsible whale watching, the only genuinely sustainable use of whales, is now the best way forward for a great nation like Japan."

Japan, which claims whaling to be an important aspect of Japanese culture, hunts the leviathans annually despite a ban on imposed on commercial whaling in 1986 by the International Whaling Commission. The country has taken advantage of a "lethal research" loophole to skirt the ban, and says its hunts are for science.

Sea Shepherd activists, who this season have used three boats and smaller inflatable vessels had accompanied the whalers since New Year's Eve. Their harassment techniques, which are controversial even among many opposed to whaling, involve throwing flares and stink bombs onto the whalers' decks, and throwing ropes to foul propellers.

The whalers, in a seemingly endless game of cat-and-mouse, often respond by shooting at the activists with water cannons.

Tatsuya Nakaoku, a Fisheries Agency official, told the Washington Post: "It's extremely regrettable that our research activity has been obstructed by the acts of sabotage, which could lead to serious injuries or damage. We hope to return to normal operation as soon as possible."

There have been no deaths or serious injuries attributed to the clashes, but they've become increasingly tense in recent years, and last year resulted in a collision that forced Sea Shepherd to scuttle the damaged boat. An independent investigation determined that the captains of both vessels were at fault.

Increased pressure from anti-whaling nations, including Australia and the United States, might also have factored into Japan's decision to quit early.

Japanese officials had, earlier this year, been in diplomatic talks with U.S. officials regarding the future of whaling. According to cables released by WikiLeaks, Japan had attempted to persuade the U.S. to punish Sea Shepherd by removing the nonprofit group's tax-exempt status as part of a compromise deal in which Japan would agree to reduce its quota.

The viability of the hunts have come into question in Japan. They're incredibly costly and demand for whale meat is shrinking, as fewer young people are inclined to eat whale flesh. Japan has remained steadfast, though, and has accused whaling opponents in the West of being hypocritical, claiming that minke whales are not endangered and that Western civilizations do their share of killing and eating animals.

The clashes between Sea Shepherd and the whalers have gained widespread exposure in recent years because of Animal Planet's "Whale Wars" series. A network film crew has again accompanied Sea Shepherd for a fourth season, and the series will air in early summer.

Meta4
02-19-2011, 12:30 PM
haha oh shit my brothers actually down in Antartica now fighting the japs. He gonna be on "Whale Wars" tv show as the CMO for the ship he's on.

check two
02-20-2011, 01:54 PM
lol was your brother on any of the past seasons? I watch that show, so I'll probably see him. lol

TheBoarzHeadBoy
02-20-2011, 02:10 PM
We already lost the Cod we need sustainable fishing. Not hunting whales is nice and all, but we're depleting the oceans to fill the bellies of people who really don't need to live.

Human Population... ^ Up and Up and Up exponentially
Food Supply........... Steadily decreasing

I see a problem.

I also see a solution.

http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Abortion%20is%20Murder/holocaust_killers.jpg

yYz1aqXnwu0&feature=related

Meta4
02-20-2011, 02:12 PM
nah this his first time. If he gets camera time on tv I'll post it up. If someone gets hurt bad then he's sure to get aired.